Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Stefan Hertmans

Take and read

You can study history,
Riddles, rumours and gossip,
Pages of crazy electronics,
And suddenly you’re facing
A beggar in the rain and no longer
Know what we are doing in the world.
 
A ghost grows warm beside you
And taps you on the shoulder.
Golden shower, Danae in foam,
The glitter of life.
 
You’re being hugged; the sun breaks through.
Someone deciphered a brand new
Cuneiform, kids on their Vespas go
In hot pursuit of Vestal girls.
 
Everything costs, and everything’s null.
Tolle, lege, St. Augustine,
Take this poem and read.
 
Don’t mention us
In your unbearable prayers:
It wasn’t for us
Your God suffered.

Neem en lees

Neem en lees

Je kunt geschiedenis gaan lezen,
Raadsels, roddels en geruchten,
Pagina’s geschifte elektronica,
En toch plots voor een bedelaar
In regen staan en niet meer weten
Waarom we in de wereld zijn.

Een schim wordt warm naast jou
En tikt je op de schouder.
Gouden regen, Danaë in schuim,
De glitter van het leven.

Je wordt omhelsd; de zon breekt door.
Iemand ontcijferde een brandnieuw
Spijkerschrift, jongens op Vespa’s gaan
Achter Vestaalse meisjes aan.

Alles is duur en alles is om niets.
Tolle, lege, Augustinus,
Neem dit gedicht en lees.

Vergeet ons maar
In je ondraaglijke gebeden:
Jouw God heeft niet
Voor ons geleden.
Close

Take and read

You can study history,
Riddles, rumours and gossip,
Pages of crazy electronics,
And suddenly you’re facing
A beggar in the rain and no longer
Know what we are doing in the world.
 
A ghost grows warm beside you
And taps you on the shoulder.
Golden shower, Danae in foam,
The glitter of life.
 
You’re being hugged; the sun breaks through.
Someone deciphered a brand new
Cuneiform, kids on their Vespas go
In hot pursuit of Vestal girls.
 
Everything costs, and everything’s null.
Tolle, lege, St. Augustine,
Take this poem and read.
 
Don’t mention us
In your unbearable prayers:
It wasn’t for us
Your God suffered.

Take and read

You can study history,
Riddles, rumours and gossip,
Pages of crazy electronics,
And suddenly you’re facing
A beggar in the rain and no longer
Know what we are doing in the world.
 
A ghost grows warm beside you
And taps you on the shoulder.
Golden shower, Danae in foam,
The glitter of life.
 
You’re being hugged; the sun breaks through.
Someone deciphered a brand new
Cuneiform, kids on their Vespas go
In hot pursuit of Vestal girls.
 
Everything costs, and everything’s null.
Tolle, lege, St. Augustine,
Take this poem and read.
 
Don’t mention us
In your unbearable prayers:
It wasn’t for us
Your God suffered.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère